Mobile phone waiting queue
Credit: Image by Thinkstock
The Times has launched a mobile site for party conference coverage.

Conference Companion, which was released on Saturday (21 September), is providing tweets and links to coverage from the Labour Party conference, which is currently underway, and will offer a feed of news from the Conservative conference next week.

Politics articles and opinion pieces that are linked to from within the site can be read by non-subscribers to The Times, which has all of its content behind a paywall.

Tweets included are from Times journalists at the conference, plus some "carefully selected from other organisations", Joseph Stashko, digital news development editor at The Times, told

The site, which after being bookmarked to the user's home screen appears as an app, also provides a highlights view. This filters all tweets and articles to give a summary of the key points.

The Times Conference Companion
The live feed of news (left) and highlights (right)

Users must provide a name and email address to register to read the live updating mobile feed, but do not need to pay for a subscription.

Asked if the aim is to gather email addresses for potential subscribers, showcase some of The Times content that is behind the wall, or simply to provide a useful feed of news, Stashko said it was "a mix of all" of these.
"It is nice to get people interested in a particular topic to see Times content," Stashko said.

It has also been created with those at the party conferences in mind. "The device you are most likely to have on you is your phone," Stashko said.

Asked why it was not launched before the Liberal Democrat conference last week, Stashko explained that the site was being tested internally. "We wanted to make sure it plugged into our work flow," he said.

The site, which has been developed by Stashko as well as Nick Petrie, social media and campaigns editor, and news developers Aendrew Rininsland and Henrique Alves, has been created to be as simple as possible.

And this type of mobile live feed of news may be something we see more of from The Times in the future, Stashko said, explaining that the concept could be built upon and developed further.

An Instagram video shows how the mobile site can be accessed.

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